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  • Jacqui Hames talks about her hearing loss

    Hearing loss? Don’t suffer in silence; says Jacqui Hames, former Crimewatch presenter

    From working for the Met police force, to performing on live television and giving evidence at the Leveson Inquiry, presenter Jacqui Hames knows how to cope with pressure, but she says her world was turned upside down when she suddenly lost her hearing. The life of the former Crimewatch presenter took a tough and unexpected turn about two years ago when her hearing became permanently impaired. Read on to learn about her hearing loss and journey to how she overcame it.

    Following a quick referral from her GP, Jacqui found solace in the offices of Selma Becker at Help in Hearing. Through consultations in the Farnham Common clinic they were able to agree on the perfect Phonak hearing aid for her.

    “I was quite fortunate to get help quite quickly and given a hearing aid which works brilliantly for me. Some people see it as a handicap but it doesn’t have to be seen that way, you don’t look at people who wear reading glasses differently and I want people to realise by seeking help you will better your life.”

    After quickly embarking on her long journey with hearing aids, Jacqui believes there is no need for others to suffer in silence:

    “People don’t have to retreat into a silent world, a lot of people do cut down on their social lives and they find difficulties with work because they can’t engage with people in the same way. But communication is the building blocks of our lives and if that is impaired you need to do something about it, and it is simple to do.”

    “There is an emotional impact of being given the news too, which I think quite a lot of people underestimate. I noticed I was really struggling to hold conversations and was finding social situations really difficult. Places like restaurants where there is a lot of peripheral noise and soft furnishings are particularly difficult and at first it can be quite daunting and worrying, but people should not be scared to step forward and get some help.”

    Watch a 30 second interview with Jacqui talking about how she overcame hearing loss.

     

    Jacqui, who appeared on the BBC’s Crimewatch for 16 years from 1990, was formerly a Metropolitan Police detective and was most recently under the spotlight again when she took to the stand in the Leveson Inquiry. Experts say the tasks which most people take for granted can become a hardship for people with hearing difficulties but life is back to normal for Jacqui who can even use her hearing aid to stream music and talk on the phone.

    Jacqui continues, “The technology is extraordinary – if you like a gadget get yourself a hearing aid! You can do so many things, I can stream music and can engage in telephone calls quite easily using my hearing aid, people use headphones all the time and that is effectively what I am doing. Since the hearing loss, I think I became so much more aware of the world around me.

    If you are struggling with your hearing or know someone that is having problems and might need some help, book a confidential appointment with Selma or Kevin in our Farnham Common or Marlow clinics – just click here to book an appointment.

  • How are Lyric hearing aids fitted?

    How are Lyric hearing aids fitted?

    Lyric hearing aids are completely invisible and are the world’s first hearing aids which can be worn for extended periods of time. You can wear your Lyric hearing aids 24/7 for months without battery changes; you can wear them close up without anyone seeing them; and you wear them sleeping – no need to take them out when you go to bed.

    Getting started with the Lyric hearing aid is a simple, comfortable and non-invasive process.

    Your first appointment

    Your Lyric professional audiologist will give you a full hearing test and will also spend time with you to discuss your medical history and lifestyle requirements to make sure that the Lyric hearing aid is the most suitable choice for you.

    If we discover that you have any hearing loss, we will then let you know if this is in both ears or just one. This determines if you need one or two Lyric hearing aids.

    Having established that the Lyric hearing aid is right for you, we will carry out a thorough examination of the shape and condition of your ear canal – this is to make sure that the Lyric will sit snugly and comfortably in your ear, which avoids the problems of occlusion* and feedback.**

    Once we all agree that the Lyric hearing aid is right for you, we will measure your ear and the device will be placed in both ears (if the hearing loss is across both ears) or the ear with the hearing loss. We will then programme the Lyric to match your hearing test results.

    After your first appointment you may need to come back and see us for a follow-up appointment to make some minor adjustments to the positioning or the programming of the Lyric hearing aid/s.

    You will wear your Lyric hearing aids until they are no longer working, up to a maximum of 120 days. The amount of time the Lyrics function can vary between individuals. When your Lyric device needs to be replaced, just come back to us and we will fit you with a brand new device.

    Watch the video below to see how the Lyric invisible hearing aid is fitted.

     

    Adapting to hearing with your Lyric hearing aids

    Hearing clearly can take time to get used to – even if you are a previous hearing aid user you are going to be hearing lots of unfamiliar sounds with your Lyrics which you may not have heard for years! We can give you more information on this but if you are concerned at any time just give us a call.

    Adapting to the feel of the Lyric hearing aid

    As Lyric is placed deep in your ear canal it may take a little bit of time to get used to the feel of it in your ear. You may experience some discomfort during the first days and up to two weeks after the initial fitting.

    Please use the following classification for your sensation after the fitting:  After this initial settling period, most Lyric users forget that their Lyric hearing aid is even there!

    If you experience any itching during the first few days, simply massage the side of the ear until it subsides. Do not push, pull or scratch your ear. For the first few days try not to sleep with direct pressure on your ear; adjust your pillows or try to sleep on your back until Lyric settles.

    Can I change the settings of my Lyric hearing aid?

    We will programme your Lyric to match your hearing loss and due to the device’s fitting position there is no need to change any settings to adjust for the listening situation you are in (unlike other hearing aids). However there may be situations where you will want to be able to turn your Lyric hearing aid up or down, put it into sleep mode, switch it off or remove it – therefore when you try the Lyric hearing aid we will give you instructions on how to do this.

    If you think Lyric hearing aids might be right for you, please contact us to make a completely confidential appointment.

    Or you can read more about Lyric hearing aids on our Lyric pages.

    Also read our article: “Lyric hearing aid frequently asked questions.”

    * Occlusion: People who wear other hearing aid types often complain that their ear feels blocked up and that sounds, in particular their own voice, are echoey and unnatural. This is known as occlusion. When you speak, vibrations from your vocal cords vibrate the bones in your skull and jaw, which can cause this strange effect to your own voice. Normally when there is nothing blocking the ear, these vibrations escape with no issue. The Lyric hearing aid avoids this issue because the Lyric is placed so deep in the ear canal, the vibrations are absorbed by the device. Most people find that they have little or no occlusion issues when they are wearing a Lyric hearing aid.

    ** Feedback:  Another common complaint of hearing aid users is a whistling noise, which can be both distracting and embarrassing for the person who is wearing them. This whistling noise is called feedback. Feedback happens when sound coming out of the hearing aid receiver gets back into the microphone and is reprocessed. This sound goes around in a loop and gets louder, causing a whistling sound. As the Lyric hearing aid is placed in the ear canal and sealed against the canal walls, the amount of sound that can escape is reduced – meaning whistling is a thing of the past.